The B2B Facebook Marketing Secret: Lookalike Audiences

Gil Allouche
Gil Allouche

In the movie Jurassic Park, a group of investors had a novel idea for generating bazillions in revenue. They planned to create a theme park full of dinosaurs and charge admission. But dinosaurs are completely extinct. How did they grow dinosaurs when none existed? You know the answer….scientists cloned them. How did scientists clone them? They found dinosaur DNA and grew it in a test tube.

What if I told you that you too have DNA you can clone? DNA that you can use to generate bazillions in revenue. You might not think of it this way, but that DNA is your customers’ phone# and email addresses. By introducing these two pieces of info to Facebook, you can clone a multitude of future customers.

This cloning technology is called Facebook Lookalike Audiences.

Look-a-like ad targeting became popular when Facebook first launched its look-a-like campaign functionality in 2013. Look-a-like audience became an instant hit for Facebook due to its precise targeting, matching functions and ease of use.

Scary benefits of Look-a-Likes for B2B

Here’s why lookalike audiences are such a powerful technology.

  1. #flipsyourfunnel – What the heck does that mean you ask? To make a long story short, a really smart guy by the name of Joseph Jaffe came up with the concept of flipping your funnel. Flipping your funnel means leads coming into your funnel are already qualified. So instead of paying for a whole bunch of unqualified leads that come in at the top of the funnel and ending up with just a few good SQL’s (Sales Qualified Leads) at the bottom of the funnel, the leads that come in at the top of the funnel are of a minimum viable quality.
  2. Improves your metrics – When the leads at the top of the funnel are better qualified, your cost per lead (CPL) goes down significantly because you don’t have to weed out as many bad leads. Your conversion rate increases and your overall Cost of Acquired Customer (CAC) decreases. Consider scenario A where you pay $10 per lead and get 50 leads. But only 20 of them turn out to be Sales Qualified leads (SQL’s). That’s 60% of leads which are unqualified that you have just paid for. You have now paid $500 for 20 SQL. Out of the 20 SQL, you close 5 leads. Your conversion rate is 10% and your CAC is $100. Now consider an alternate scenario, where you used look-a-like audience from Metadata (of course) and instead of paying $10 for 50 unknown leads, you paid $10 for well qualified 50 leads. Using the same closing ratio from scenario A, your sales team closes 25% of SQL’s that come in. That leaves you with 13 sales, or a 25% conversion rate. Since all your leads are SQL’s, conversion rate now depends only on the sales team’s closing abilities. Oh, and your CAC is only $38.
  3. Opens up new demographic targeting – Targeting for B2B businesses has always been a mystery. Too many marketers operate on hunches and gut feelings rather than data. Gartner’s 2015 survey of data-driven marketers showed that more than two-thirds intended to base most of their decisions on data and analytics within two years. The word “intended” indicates they are not currently doing so. As you gain a larger database of customers, you will gain richer knowledge about their demographics and behavior. You should use that knowledge to improve your persona building and marketing tactics.

Steps to creating a Look-a-Like audience

In order to create a Look-a-like audience on Facebook, you need to first create a “Custom Audience”. There are three ways to create a custom audience:

  1. Find Your Existing Customers and/or Prospects on Facebook. This process is very straightforward. After you upload your customer file(email or phone#), Facebook encrypts the list, finds people similar to your advertiser list and shows ads to this “look-a-like” audience while they browse Facebook. Using the “targeting options” features you can further narrow down your targeting criteria if necessary. This features allows you to target your customers or prospects (or even both) while they are browsing Facebook.
  2. Find your website visitors on Facebook. By putting a Facebook pixel on your website, you can allow Facebook to track your website visitors who have a Facebook account and subsequently show them your desired ads. This feature is very flexible. It actually allows you to select visitors who only visited certain pages, and not others, all pages, or a combination of pages. Which means you can target only those visitors who haven’t converted or only those who have visited the tutorial, for instance. Targeting this precise empowers you to create all types of specific campaigns. For instance, you can offer discounts to people who have been to your pricing page and haven’t converted, or a further explanation of your product to people who dropped off at the tutorial page.
  3. Reach people who have had previous “engagement” with your page on Facebook. Previous engagement on Facebook is defined as some form of interaction with your previous Facebook content. Whether that interaction consisted of watching a video, clicking on an ad and not submitting their lead info, that is up to you. But the flexibility is always there. After you create your desired “Custom Audience” you can proceed to create a “Look-a-like” audience based on any of the desired “Custom Audience” categories we described above.

Hybrid Species Look-A-Likes

Facebook provides a plethora of targeting options for your lookalike campaigns like:

  • sentiment analysis
  • job title
  • topics
  • friends
  • groups

However, at some point you’ll find these categories provide diminishing returns for B2B campaigns. When that time comes you should turn to account-based marketing solutions like Metadata. We’ll take your customer DNA and generate lookalikes off B2B categories Facebook could only dream of:

  • technology stack (both front and back end)
  • company size
  • company revenues
  • professional data on other websites
  • much much more…..

Once you generate those lookalikes outside of Facebook, just upload your new phone numbers and emails. You’ll target those hybrid B2B lookalikes on Facebook just as you would any campaign. In most cases, you could even integrate Metadata targeting criteria with Facebook targeting criteria

Simply put, this is a way to hack Facebook lookalikes before the well runs dry. You’ll reach prospects you had no idea existed. And in many cases, it can actually make sense to start off with these hybrid lookalikes.

This is our basic strategy for creating your own Jurassic Park clones. As long as you keep an eye on your metrics, no dinosaurs will devour future profits.

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